The Neoclassical style swept the world of interior design in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, originating in Italy and quickly spreading around Europe and North America. The style is rooted in luxury and elegance, refined furnishings and light and airy interiors. At the heart of the Neoclassical period was a drive to capture the purity of the classical but with a modern edge. In particular, stylistic elements from the ancient civilisations of Rome and Greece were an inspiration.
The discovery of the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum was a key influence on Neoclassicism. Suddenly, designers, artists and architects had a genuine window into the styles of their ancestors and quickly looked to replicate them. This passion for ancient Mediterranean styles made its way to France and England, with designers such as Robert Adam cementing the Neoclassical style's use of classical features alongside vibrant, colourful decorations.
Perhaps one of the most famous followers of the Neoclassical style was the emperor Napoleon. The luxury bathrooms he had constructed at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence boast elegant marble bath tubs, exquisite taps and a range of other extravagant yet tasteful features. More and more, these Neoclassical flourishes are reappearing in luxury bathrooms today.
Generally mild but light colours dominate, such as cream, blue, pearl, olive, and sandy yellows. Excitement is made by diluting the interior with more vibrant colours on features. Images of flowers are also common.
Showers, taps, baths and toilets should be simple and symmetrical in design.
Varied but always good-quality materials. This means high-quality bathroom taps are pivotal for complementing a luxury bathroom.
Arches, mouldings and pillars are another option for capturing the sense of antiquity key to the Neoclassical style.
The classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.
The developing contemporary trends for simplicity and minimalism also had a big impact on Neoclassicism, meaning subtlety is important to the style.
Tips and Tricks for your bathroom
Ceramics - Need to be understated without being dull. White is a popular choice of colour, while sinks and baths should have subtle curves and corners.
An inset bath is a good choice, one which blends in seamlessly with the luxury bathroom.
Furniture - Mirrors are central to the neoclassical style. They tend to be large and prominently placed. Venetian mirrors are particularly popular.
Floor - Nothing says neoclassical quite like a marble floor. An alternative is tiles based around simple, softly coloured designs.
Colour Scheme - Colours need to be mild, varied and smoothly blended. A Neoclassical bathroom shouldn't be monochrome, but neither should it be garish.
Walls - Whites, pearls and olives are popular Neoclassical wall colours. Borders with patterns, particularly floral ones, are a popular addition.
Accessories - Gold and silver are ideal for accessories, especially taps. Elaborate fixtures such as chandeliers are also hugely popular in the neoclassical style.